49ers Drake Jackson, 4 other rookies who break out right away

Drake Jackson #95 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Drake Jackson #95 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /
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Tyrion Davis-Price, LSU Tigers
Tyrion Davis-Price #3 of the LSU Tigers (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

49ers breakout rookie No. 1: Running back Tyrion Davis-Price

Did the Niners reach by drafting former LSU running back Tyrion Davis-Price towards the tail end of Round 3?

Probably. Especially if you factor in many a draft expert and pundit thought Davis-Price would be a fourth-round prospect at most, and when coupled with the fact San Francisco drafted Trey Sermon in Round 3 a year ago and also developed fellow 2021 rookie Elijah Mitchell into a quality option, Davis-Price’s pickup appeared like a whiff.

The 49ers may have wholly botched this, or they may be brilliant. After all, the 6-foot-1 and 219-pound runner is likely going to be tabbed with doing one thing: executing efficiently on short-yardage situations.

This isn’t to say Davis-Price will be limited to this kind of role. Rather it’s one in which he should be good at, and the Niners weren’t good at this a year ago, as ESPN’s Nick Wagoner pointed out:

"*The 49ers ranked 29th in the league in third-down run conversion percentage, gaining a first down on just 42.4% of their rushing attempts on third down. *On handoffs to running backs, their conversion rate of 42.1% was last in the NFL on fourth or third-and-3 or fewer. *They averaged 2.3 yards per carry on third-and-2 or fewer yards, which ranked 26th in the NFL."

Davis-Price should be tabbed with rectifying these problems, and it’s perfectly reasonable to assume he splits duties with Mitchell, too, meaning the former will likely wind up having a much bigger statistical season than many anticipate.

Next. 49ers' 15 best first-round NFL Draft picks of all time. dark